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Excellent Ways To Earn Money Online

Updated on January 28, 2015
Gerhard Homveld profile image

Gerhard is a professional freelancer with over 7 years experience in different online industries.

Myth vs Reality

Thousands of websites offer programs that promises to make you a millionaire in a couple of days, but wants you to pay a fee to get access to the program. Unfortunately most of these programs will only give you access to a system that offers outdated information, or a collection of links that directs you to other websites, with some requesting an additional fee to join.

I decided to cover this topic first before jumping into the proven methods for making money online, so you can determine which programs are worth joining, what to look for and why you should be careful before paying for a program that might end up only costing you a lot of money and delivering no real results.

With so many programs that takes your money, but never delivers on it's promises, people are being discouraged from creating an online career for themselves, but in reality there is some methods people have been using for years to create an online income for themselves - some part time and some even full time, working online from the comfort of their own home.

Myths about making money online

There's a lot of myths going around about how you can make money online. Some programs promises to make you a millionaire in a few days or weeks, while others promises to help you make a couple of thousand dollars per day.

This brings us to Myth number one - becoming a millionaire overnight. Sorry to dissapoint you, but it's not possible.

Now, it's important to note that you can achieve the "Millionaire" status by working and making money online, but it will take time, effort and a lot of work. People that already made the "Millionaire" status from online earnings, even if they claim it was done overnight, had a lot of planning and work they had to put into their online career in order to achieve this status - it might have felt like everything happened overnight for them, but it didn't.

The second myth - you just need to create your own website to make money from it, everything else will happen automatically.

I wish this were true, but it's not. The truth is, you cannot simply create a website and expect the money to start rolling in. You need to set up advertisements or an alternative method for generating income, and you need to drive traffic to your website and possibly build an audience. This takes work, effort and time, and is essential to making money online through your own website.

I hear a lot of people saying "It's impossible to make money on the internet", especially in smaller towns where there's only a small amount of households with internet access. I've even heard these words from a respectable business owner. This is the third myth - people telling you it's not possible to make money online.

Yes, it takes a lot of time, effort and work, but it is possible. It's even possible to create an extra income stream that boosts your day job's salary by only working on your online career during your free time - as long as you put in the time and effort that's required, you should be able to reap the rewards and benefits of having an online career. Most online earners actually start out working on an online career during their free time, which turns into a full time work in time.

Another popular myth is programs offering you "everything you need to know to make millions of dollars online", but require a fee to be paid before they give you access to this information. Most of the time, these programs will only give you information you can find for free on the internet if you just take a minute to Google "making money online" - Google is free to use, and can also be your best friend when doing research for your online career.

The last myth I'd like to mention is people telling you that you have to spend a lot of time working on your online career in order to make money. Okay, I know I just mentioned that it takes a lot of time, effort and work to make money online and build an online career for yourself, and yes it is true, but it doesn't mean you have to spend the whole day working - plan out your days and make some time for working on your online career, once you've started you'll be able to more accurately adjust your schedule.


Don't be afraid of a successful online career
Don't be afraid of a successful online career

The Reality about Making Money Online

If you've ever investigated into making money, you've probably come across some websites that offer or wrote about one or more of these myths, offering you the ability to create a six figure income overnight, or offering you online success without any work.

The reality is, you need to be able to determine which methods work, and which programs you should avoid. New websites offering programs that won't deliver on any of their promises are being launched day after day, so providing a real-time up-to-date list of all the programs you should avoid isn't really possible; but by providing you with the knowledge to determine which programs are real and which to avoid, specifying certain values to look for, will help you decide whether a program is trust-able or not.

First of all - if a program asks you to pay a fee to get access to "everything you need to earn money online", close the website and don't go back. Found a program offering you the ability to "create a six figure income overnight", or even in a few days or weeks - close the website and forget about it. Try to avoid any program that charges you a fee for a program that will help you make money online, and be sure to do proper research on any programs you sign up for before you do, make sure the program is trusted and reliable - even if the program is free, your personal information might be at risk!

To summarize the myths and realities I mentioned here:

Myths

  • Become a millionaire overnight. Sorry, it's not going to happen.
  • Just create a website, then sit back, relax and see the money roll in. Also not going to happen.
  • It's impossible to make money online. Fortunately for you, it IS possible to earn money on the internet.
  • Everything you need to know in one package. No package will offer you EVERYTHING you need to know to make money online - there's just too many methods, strategies and programs that lets you make money.
  • You have to spend a lot of time to make money. Yes, it will take time and effort, but won't have to spend all your time working.

Reality

  • It is possible to become a millionaire from an online career, but it won't happen overnight. By putting in time and effort into your online career, you can grow to being successful and start earning more-and-more.
  • Having your own website can increase your earnings, but it will not happen by itself. Once you have a functional website, you need to promote your website and drive traffic, as well as use smart strategies to convert your traffic into customers.
  • It is possible to make money online. Some people use the internet to make an extra couple of bucks each month, while others created a full-time income for themselves working online.
  • With thousands of programs and packages offering online money making techniques, it's impossible to list every single program and method in one package. Rather spend some time doing proper research than spend money on a program making empty promises.
  • Making a success of an online career takes time and effort. You'll have to schedule some time to put into your online career if you want to be successful - setting out an hour in the evening, or waking up an hour earlier in the morning to work on your online success is a great way to start out!


Remember to Reward Yourself
Remember to Reward Yourself

Reward Yourself Along the Journey

After a long week of working hard and building your online career, it's time to relax with a good movie and a good, lazy dinner like pizza or a burger.

Rewarding yourself when you reach your goals is important, it helps you build your self-confidence and with help you believe in yourself, and your online-earning success. This is also a great way to take a break and have some time for yourself or your loved ones, get your mind off work and enjoy life a bit. Once you get back to work, you'll feel refreshed and ready to get working.

It's also important not to over-reward yourself! Taking a break after every five minutes of work to reward you for the past five minutes will only take your mind off work and distract you, and trying to work in an over-crowded room with friends making noise will distract you.

Rather set up some goals, even small ones, and then reward yourself when you achieve these goals. Offer yourself realistic rewards - don't promise yourself a new car after reaching your first goal when you just started out, rather reward yourself with a good movie, or a long walk on the beach. Yes, these rewards might sound a bit dull for some, but it's a good way to take your break and put your brain into a cooldown mode, and they will also save you money - it's important to put yourself on a strict budget in the beginning to avoid overspending as you might need to "spend some to make some".

20 Proven Methods to Make Money Online
20 Proven Methods to Make Money Online

#1: Sell Articles

Good at writing? Then this method is a great way to make money online, especially if you already have a blog with a lot of posts, or any existing articles on the internet you can offer as examples of your writing. Even if you do not have existing articles on the internet, this still remains a great way to earn money online.

Selling articles has become very popular among a large variety of communities and businesses all over the internet. With articles selling for as little as $1 at some article providers, businesses and even bloggers from all over the world are now starting to source out their writing to article writers.

One of the best ways to sell your articles online is to write them in advance and then sell your already-written articles to communities on the internet. This way, people will be able to see the quality of the article and also if the article is relevant to what they need an article for, and then buy the article from you if they are interested. Selling high quality, thorough articles online can also land you some regular and long-term clients - once a client buys an article from you and they're happy, they might come back to you requesting more articles.

Constant Content

a Popular service that lets you sell your articles online is Constant Content. In order to write for them, you'll have to write a short sample article on a subject they give you and wait for approval. If they approve you as one of their writers, you'll be able to submit your articles and let the thousands of businesses and bloggers that buys content from Constant Content get access to your article, and buy it.

Homepage: www.constant-content.com

Daily Article

Another great service that allows you to sell your pre-written articles online to thousands of interested customers. Although their website is not very "up-to-date" considering the latest web technologies and services, they still offer a solid marketplace that does what it's supposed to do, and it does it well. You can write about a large variety of topics, upload your article, write a "sales message" and publish - it's as simple as that, and buyers from all over the world will be able to find your article on Daily Article.

The "sales message" will be displayed to interested buyers, so be sure to write something catchy and creative that will catch the potential client's attention.

Homepage: www.dailyarticle.com

Your own website

Having your own website to sell your articles on is a great way to build an audience, and turn visitors into subscribers, and subscribers into customers.

By using a content management system like WordPress to build your website, you'll be able to create your own website in a matter of minutes, and at minimal cost. You can find tons of free tutorials on how to register a domain, set up hosting and on how to create your own WordPress website without knowing anything about coding or web design.

Youtube is a great place to find free videos explaining and offering tutorials on how all these steps work, and what the function of each is. Here's a few videos I highly recommend watching if you do not have any previous experience with websites, and would like to own your own website at minimal cost:

No cash? No problem! If you're low on cash and really want to start your own website, there's some free domain and hosting services available. Although the quality might not be as good as with a paid host, it should be perfect for starting out. This means you'll be able to start your own website where you can sell your articles, at no cost to you.

FreeNom

FreeNom is a free domain registration provider that lets you register domain names for free, as long as you choose from their free domain extensions available.

These extensions include:

  • .GF
  • .GA
  • .GQ
  • .ML
  • .TK

The extensions offered free on FreeNom are mostly country based, but can still be used to start your own website. Once you start making money, you'll be able to put the money to good use by registering a TLD (Top-Level Domain) like .com or .net for yourself. Be sure to register a free user account with FreeNom while registering your domain so you can manage all your domains in one account.

Homepage: www.freenom.com

HostYD

HostYD offers free web hosting that lets you create a website, customized email accounts, databases and more. With a free plan, you'll get a really great set of features that will help you set up a website and start to make money, plus you'll be able to create your own personalized email account, for example john@example.com, where john would be your name and example.com your domain.

a Free web hosting account from HostYD includes:

  • 3000MB Disk Space
  • 150GB Monthly Data Transfer
  • Unlimited number of websites can be hosted
  • Custom Control Panel
  • Auto Script Installer Service
  • Simple Website Builder
  • Limited Data Backups
  • 99% Uptime Guarantee, so you'll know your website will be available when users wants to see it
  • Supports PHP, MySQL, phpMyAdmin, FTP Access, Cron Jobs, Curl, Curl SSL, Audio & Video Streaming, Parked Domains, Subdomains, Website Backup/Restore, POP/IMAP Email Access, and much more

Homepage: www.hostyd.com

If you need help setting up a free hosting account with HostYD, have a look at this video on YouTube for free: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXf0e9O3T7c

After setting up your website, you should add some e-commerce features that lets you sell your articles directly online as digital products. This way, you can write articles in advance, upload them to your website and offer them at your own rates.

If you are using WordPress, I highly recommend installing WooCommerce to manage your online store with. WooCommerce is a free plugin developed by WooThemes. Installing WooCommerce on your WordPress website turns your website into a fully functional online store that lets you sell basically anything - physical or digital. When a client places an order, they can pay through different payment methods, which you can configure, and then have the products delivered to them via a digital download in this case (Selling article). You should also use a plugin like MailPoet to give visitors and customers the ability to subscribe to your website's newsletter - then you can send regular email newsletters to your subscribers, build an audience and get more sales.

Blogging is a great way for making money online
Blogging is a great way for making money online

#2: Blogging as a source of Online Income

Another lucrative method for earning money online is by blogging. Thousands of people are reaping the benefits blogging holds as a source of income, and some of them are having success, making more from their blog than they did from their nine to five day job.

Unfortunately, not everyone trying blogging as a source of income strikes success. While only some are reaching higher, others are failing and quitting, taking their blogs down or simply forget they ever had a blog.

a Good question is why - why are only some bloggers successful, and others not?

In reality there's a lot of work to do if you want to make your blog work, and be successful. It's not just about blogging, it's also about making your blog look good, building an audience and being found. If you are willing to spend an hour or two a day, or if you're really busy you can spend an hour or two a week, on your blog to make it grow from no visitors to a successful, highly-productive blog with lots of visitors and a large audience.

If you're interested in starting your own blog to profit from, then you should definitely take a look at WordPress. WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms that offers a self-hosted downloadable application, as well as an online platform you can sign up and get your own blog for free.

For newbies, signing up with WordPress.com for a free blog will be the easiest way to get started as they will do all required setup for you. You'll also receive a free subdomain on their main domain so you can direct people to your blog easily (For example, if your username is johndoe, then your blog's URL would be something like http://johndoe.wordpress.com). After you created a free blog at WordPress.com, you can customize your website, install themes and plugins, and make your website unique. You'll also have the ability to use your own custom domain name, and point it to your blog.

If you have some prior experience with web design and development, you should consider using Ghost as your blogging platform instead of WordPress. Although Ghost is still new, it's a really great platform that let's you write without getting in your way. Ghost is also free and open source, and it's super easy to write Ghost themes.

So far, I've only mentioned how to set up a blog, but not yet how to make money from it. Blogging for money involves work and effort. The first step is to write some blog posts - in order to get good traffic, you need to update your blog regularly with fresh, unique articles.

Once your blog starts receiving traffic, you can start using an ad network like Google Adsense, or even an affiliate / publisher network like ClickBank or Commission Junction. By placing ad codes from these types of networks on your blog, you will start earning money every time someone clicks on one of the ads.

Important: Once you've implemented ads on your blog, never EVER click on ads on your own website. It is unethical, and against the code of conduct (for pay per click programs). Violating the terms you agreed upon when signing up at an ad or publisher network can result in a suspended account, and sometimes even legal actions.

Google Adsense

Google Adsense is one of the most popular ad platforms available to help you monetize your blog. You can sign up for a Google Adsense account with your existing Google Account and easy apply to run the program on your website. If you are approved, you will be able to generate a special code from the Google Adsense platform and place it on your website - this way ads will be displayed on your website from the Google Adsense platform, and you will earn money every time someone clicks on an ad.

Homepage: adsense.google.com

Commission Junction

Commission Junction offers affiliate programs so you can decide what you want to promote. You can apply to run a variety of affiliate programs on your website, display the products and services with special affiliate links and earn money every time your website refers a sale. Some programs will also pay you for referring free signups to their websites (leads).

Homepage: www.cj.com


Sell your talent as "Gigs"
Sell your talent as "Gigs"

#3: Sell your talent as "Gigs"

Everyone has a talent - you could be a good singer, or maybe a really creative designer, or you could be a master chef. No matter what your talent, the internet has millions of users looking for someone with your talents.

To sell your talent as a "Gig" simply means to advertise a specific service you can offer people. Be realistic, but also creative when thinking of a service you can offer people. a Good starting point would be to plot down your talents (if you have a good voice, write it down, if you can write good poetry, write it down). After you've determined your talents, decide which talents can be turned into a profitable service. If you have a good voice, you might offer your voice for voice-over projects, and if you are good at poetry, you might offer to write creative poems.

Gigs usually sell for around $5, and most Gig Networks will pay you around $4 per gig you sell. Paying the Gig Networks $1 for every gig that sells isn't that much, considering their hosting and advertising your Gig. When someone buys a Gig from you, you'll be able to communicate through the Gig Network's website - most Gig Networks offer an easy-to-use messaging system and some will also offer you the ability to sell "extras" with your gig.

TIP: Add your Gigs to as many Gig Networks as you can find. The more exposure you can get for your Gig, the better it will sell. Also share all your Gigs on your social profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, etc) for maximium exposure.

Fiverr

Fiverr is probably the most popular Gig Network available right now. They have a huge network of Gigs, a massive community and they get a lot of traffic. This means creating a Gig on Fiverr will give you a lot of exposure - especially if you create a catchy, attractive and creative Gig title, image and description. The more you sell, the better your reputation on Fiverr will become, and the more Gigs you will be able to sell.

Homepage: www.fiverr.com

FiverUp

FiverUp is a good alternative to Fiverr, and lets you sell your Gigs for any amount between $4 and $100. They also charge a fee for every Gig you sell, but consider the amount of Gigs listed on FiverUp, the amount of members in their community and the amount of traffic they receive, this is another excellent website to add your Gigs to.

Homepage: www.fiverup.com

What do you consider your best talent?

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Sell thousands of products without keeping stock
Sell thousands of products without keeping stock

#4: Sell products online without buying stock

Wait? Did I just say you can sell products without having to keep any stock or inventory? Yes - that's right! It's called Drop Shipping.

Drop Shipping is a method of selling products to people on the internet, and even offline, without having to keep an inventory of the products you sell. You can apply to drop ship with companies offering this as a service, and then place the products you want to sell on your website or market them on your social profiles and other networks. By drop shipping, you'll be paying the standard fee as on the drop shipping company's website (some companies offer discounts if you place a lot of orders), while you can sell the products for any amount you want to - and you keep all the profit you make. Another great thing about Drop Shipping is the ability to add your own logo to packages with some companies, so your clients will never know the products was drop shipped.

Important: Although this is a great way to make money online, you should consider the terms and conditions of each drop shipping company you apply with. You should note that although shipping is usually offered for free, it may take up to 30 days, or sometimes even longer, for your customers to receive their packages. When the package gets imported to the customer's country, custom duties and taxes might also be applied. Be sure to include all of this in the terms and conditions of your web store - you need to tell your customers how long they will be waiting for their package, and that there might be additional charges applied for the import of the package by the destination country's customs office. a Useful feature would be to include contact details for the custom offices in each country.

This method have been used to create high-paying income streams for thousands of people all around the world during the past couple of years. It's easy to get started, and doesn't cost anything to join - plus you can get a free website and domain name if you first want to test things before purchasing a domain name and web hosting. Have a look at "#1: Selling Articles -> Your Own Website" in this hub for details on where and how to get a free domain, web hosting and how to install WordPress on your website.

If you choose to use WordPress, be sure to install WooCommerce as well. WooCommerce turns your WordPress website into an online shopping system where you can sell physical and digital items, offer shipping on products and the ability to accept payment through different gateways. WooCommerce is free to install and use. This is also a good place to install a newsletter plugin like MailPoet to send out regular email newsletters to subscribers and customers - offer useful information in your newsletters, be creative, offer them something special like a discount coupon or a free downloadable item, and remember to include your latest products and promotions on the newsletter as well.

TIP: It's a good idea to include an additional fee in your product's prices (for more expensive products) and then offer the item to be shipped via Express Shipping. This way, the package will usually be at your client in three to seven business days. You can also add an additional option for Express Shipping on checkout as a shipping method if you'd prefer keeping your product prices low. Be sure to contact your drop shipper for the pricing details on shipping. I recommend using EMS for Express Shipping - I find the custom duties and taxes charged on a package sent via EMS are the lowest.

To find companies that offers a drop shipping service, you should have a look at these websites:

Warrior Forum

Warrior Forum is one of the most popular internet and marketing forums that features a variety of categories you can post in, and also find useful information posted by other members. This is also a great forum to find new drop shipping companies, and to grow your range of products.

Homepage: www.warriorforum.com

DropShip Forum

DropShip Forum is a forum that's specifically designed to allow dropshippers to connect with each other, network and make new contacts. You'll also be able to find some really useful information on drop shipping, as well as new companies to use for drop shipping on this forum.

Homepage: www.dropshipforum.com

Wholesale Forum

Wholesale Forum is another great place for finding new connections and drop shipping companies. You can sign up for free and start posting, and you can find relevant information on drop shipping and wholesale posted by other members.

Homepage: www.wholesaleforum.com

TIP: When starting your own drop shipping online store, you should carefully plan your business. Decide on a niche you have a passion for, and find companies that can drop ship products related to your niche for you. It's important to focus on something you have a passion for, and know about so you can offer real advise and support to your customers.

Sell your photos online
Sell your photos online

#5: Sell your photos

Do you like taking pictures? Do you have a library full of pictures you've taken, but never look at? Did you know that some of those pictures might be worth something?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you should look into selling some of your photos online. You don't need to be a pro photographer to make some extra bucks on the side - it will surely help you create better quality photos if you have experience and decent equipment, but what you already have might be good for starting out.

If you want to consider selling your photos online, the first thing to do is look through your photo library - big or small. Take a look at the photos you took yourself, evaluate them, comment on the photos you took. This way you'll be able to determine where to improve, and what skills you already have - you might even surprise yourself!

After you've determined where you should improve, you should take some online courses to learn more about photography, master new techniques and improve your skills. There's always room for improvement, and you should take every opportunity you get.

You should also take a lot of photos - when you go through your shots, there might be some treasures in there. Add all your photos to a library like Piscasa and organize them into categories so you can scan your photos faster and find your best shots faster. Planning a photoshoot for high quality niche photos is also a good idea - you'll have a chance to set everything up exactly the way you want it, and produce higher quality photos to sell.

Tips:

  • Master Photoshop to be able to enhance your images. This way, you can also crop images and offer alternative versions of a photo. You'll also be able to save your photos in different sizes with Photoshop.
  • If you're not happy with a photo that involves a main object, try moving in closer to the object when taking the shot. This will help you produce a more clear photo.
  • Lightning plays a huge role in photography, so be sure to master proper lightning skills to produce better quality, well-lit photos.
  • Using your flash during day-time photography can help you wipe out nasty shadows created by sun light.
  • When taking a photo of a person, or persons, and you need them to smile - try telling a good joke before snapping the photo instead of saying "cheese" or "smile". This way, the smiles will look more natural on the produced photo.
  • Refer to your camera's manual if you have any difficulties. Manuals are provided with devices for a reason - they tell you how to operate the device and take advantage of all it's features.
  • Take photos regularly, daily if possible. The more you practise, the better you will become.
  • When you upload your photos as samples on a website to promote your work, you should add a watermark to the images to avoid people using your photos without permission.
  • Keep your batteries charged, even if you are using your smartphone's camera to start with. Having a device with you that can take photos wherever you go will be very handy when you spot something that's photo-worthy.
  • Don't overcrowd your photos with too many objects. Sometimes it's better to keep things simple - producing a clean, better quality photo. You should also make sure the background of your photos are relevant and well-lit.
  • Hold the camera steady and in the right way. You don't want your photos to look blurry because you didn't keep the camera steady, or parts cut off because you didn't have a good angle and the camera wasn't in the right position.
  • Try different kinds of photos - action shots, still shots, landscape shots. There's endless possibilities when it comes to photography.
  • Master exposure. The right exposure settings can make a good photo great, and increase the quality and value of a photo.

ShutterStock

ShutterStock gives you the opportunity to upload and sell your photos on their platform. Your photos will be made available to almost one million potential clients, all looking for the perfect photo to add to their project or post, and your shot might be just the one they need.

It's free to join and start selling your photos on ShutterStock, and with more than $250 000 in payouts to contributors, ShutterStock is definitely a must for selling your photos online.

Homepage: www.shutterstock.com

Alamy

Alamy is another great online service that lets you upload your photos and sell them to the world. You'll receive royalties for every image sold. Alamy currently have more than fifty million high quality photos, proving their service is trusted and reliable - be sure to upload your photos here if you want to earn some extra cash from them.

Homepage: www.alamy.com

Fotolia

Fotolia is also a popular online photo marketplace with a library of more than thirty five million high quality royalty-free stock images and photos. They offer different subscription plans for buyers, and also free images - great ways to get you noticed as a photographer.

Homepage: www.fotolia.com

Reach Your Goals
Reach Your Goals

Reach Your Goals

In conclusion, I would like to tell you never to give up. Trying to make a successful online career can be challenging and hard at times, but if you don't give up and push through, success will be waiting for you along the road.

Keep yourself organized, manage your time and try to follow a schedule - put some time out to work on your online career, and be sure to take some time off for yourself. You need to rejuvenate and energize yourself - an empty mind won't be much help when you're trying to work on an online career that requires your creativity.

Which method do you prefer to make money online?

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